David Button: 5
Alert enough to crash through a pair of bodies 20 minutes in when a strange ball looped its way into the Reading penalty box.
Not to blame for Charlton’s opener when Aneke did well to slip into a seam between Reading’s defenders, and had made some reasonable stops beforehand to end Addicks attacks..
Beaten at his near post by Campbell’s firm finish from outside of the box though Campbell stepped out from behind NGW for the shot and hit it well.
On the 72nd minute, made a great save when Charlton were afforded another chance to run at Reading’s defence but couldn’t do anything from the low deflected third goal. Button does enough to keep his place but rarely enough to keep Reading in games.
Tyler Bindon: 4
Has such great confidence on the ball and managed to get further forward today but it’s still hard to see him as a full-back full time. Beaten a few times by the difficult-to-handle Blackett Tyler in the first half, Bindon was forced to retreat a little further back than he began by doing.
Struggles to keep the seam between himself and the right-sided CB tight enough to handle fast attackers and Charlton were allowed to run towards Button’s net a few times too often because of it. One particularly bad instance saw Bindon get back after being exposed, then get nutmegged to create a chance in the box.
Again though, all of this seems to be more a consequence of him not being ideal for the position and role he’s having to play. Not a great performance, but it’s frustrating to be presented with a third manager in a row playing talented players out of position.
Harlee Dean: 3
Appears to be starting to get frustrated with something in Reading’s set up because he had to be told something twice during a break in play. Considering he’s a flatline in buildup and constantly pulled out of positon on defence, he’s probably the one in the wrong (though he’s not the only one questioning the tactics)
Made just three progressive passes all day: Dean needs to be dropped so that Bindon can play in his real position again.
Nelson Abbey: 7
Did fantastically well today in a defence that offered him no help at all and make no mistake: this would have been worse without Abbey.
Did well in terms of progressing the ball out of defence today, regularly driving past the halfway line either with his legs or with his passing. Alert defensively as well, with so much physical presence for a man of his age.
Positionally for the opening goal, he let Aneke slip just behind him and in between himself and Guinness Walker, but would have expected better support from his LB.
Just before the hour mark, made possibly his best challenge in a Reading shirt yet, stalking back after the Charlton forward and stealing the ball away with a precise slide tackle. Yet again, gives more and shows more quality than the EFL veteran alongside him.
Nesta Guinness-Walker: 5
Into the starting lineup ahead of Mola and Carson today. When NGW plays, Reading do get another element to their set piece game in that they can use Nesta’s long throws to cause penalty box panic.
Started the second half brightly, first taking the ball past his defending right back and stinging the ball into the corridor of uncertainty in front of the keeper. He then made an excellent delivery from a corner for Knibbs to head wide, before almost slipping Azeez in behind a minute later.
For all of his attacking input though, NGW still struggles defensively. Beaten positionally for Charlton’s opening goal when he couldn’t get goalside of his man. Saw himself side stepped and allowed Campbell’s shot to get away and past him for the killer second.
Michael Craig: 6
While it may have been surprising to see the recently capped for Wales Charlie Savage removed from the starting lineup: make no mistake that Craig earned today’s league start with his performances in other competitions.
Very confident on the ball, at one time shifting Charlton’s entire defence over to the left with his eyes before quickly turning and slipping NGW behind on the left. Put up over 90% passing accuracy on the day.
Struggled to help Reading to stem the bleeding once Charlton got a better handle of the game however and was withdrawn for Savage late on.
Lewis Wing: 6
Possessed of more energy today than he’s exhibited in games so far in his Reading career, perhaps a result of being more fit than we’ve previously seen him.
Clearly Wing had been told to take shots today. Took an impressively bending first time shot to get Reading’s first effort on target today early on. Later, he managed to get a decent hit on a ball that dropped out of the air in the box.
Finally in the half, he nicked the ball back in the middle of the Charlton half, but couldn’t quite make Charlton pay with his looping shot.
Faded in the second half and beaten to the ball for Alfie May’s third goal but the game was gone by that point.
Femi Azeez: 5
Clearly desperate for a goal, Azeez took his first shot from a decent opportunity shortly before the quarter hour mark. He got a few more chances but snapped at a few in the first half. Again, he gets himself into great positions, but the end product is seriously lacking.
Trying a bit too much at the moment, and should probably see a spell on the bench to reset his season.
Harvey Knibbs: 5
Did well to escape a booking in the first half for a late challenge but generally linked up pretty nicely with Guinness-Walker. One such link up saw a dangerous cross from Knibbs fly only just past the far post.
Came close to scoring from a corner early in the second half with a ball smartly headed into the ground but too far wide. Cut out a dangerous-looking counter-attack for Charlton from Reading’s next corner.
Continued to run and show effort throughout but wasn’t effective enough when it counted.
Sam Smith: 5
A little quiet today, not asked to bring the ball forward as much as his strike partner Ehibhatiomhan. That said, he showed that he is better at protecting the ball than most Reading strikers who have played up top so far this season, often smartly recycling it when the ball came to him.
Didn’t do much wrong today and contributed to Reading maintaining pressure in the first half, but needs time to build his fitness back.
Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan: 6
Used his strength and skill to work the ball down the field well in the first 15 minutes for a Femi Azeez chance.
Came close to scoring all by himself with an impressive run into the box featuring a few stepovers and dragbacks.
Drew a good save out of the keeper when he drew a clearance into his body, and spun his defender. A shame to see the chance fall to his left foot in that case.
Dom Ballard: 5
Brought in for Sam Smith as the game began to get away from Reading and consequently was unable to do much with the low level of service he received. Wants to play fast with the ball on the ground, sometimes a little too fast for the rest of his team.
Caylan Vickers: 5
Burst forward into the Charlton final third a few times with the ball at his feet. Unlucky not to win a free kick for one such burst but unable to spend much time on the edge of the box creating as he likes to do.
Ben Elliott: 5
Limited in his appearance, losing the ball a few times in midfield. Didn’t do much of note in a performance that saw him shuffled around the formation a few times.
Charlie Savage: 5
Slotted in for Michael Craig and dropped deeper, trying to push Wing further forward. Tried to pass deeper than Craig without losing the ball and found more success but was also shakier in possession, losing the ball in a dangerous spot. Unfortunately another sub who couldn’t change the momentum for Reading.
Who was your MOTM against Charlton Athletic? Vote below or through this link.